Nuneaton Old Eds 5 Barkers Butts 27
By John Collins
Eds go down at home
Impressive handling in the backs, fine defence and a dominant forward display combined to make for an entertaining afternoon at windswept Weddington.
Sadly all the good things came from the visitors, who swept into a 19-0 lead within the first 20 minutes and never looked back.
For Eds this was an afternoon's chastisement they will want to forget.
Mostly they spent their time chasing the game on the back foot as Barkers backs sped and swerved their way to victory.
Outstanding in this poor home show was No 8 Ryan Hatch. His line-out efforts and surges with the ball made him the stand-out performer among some below-par goings-on.
Some early Eds pressure came to nothing before a defensive mix-up allowed the visitors to score an improved try wide out on and a handling error from the restart saw Barkers move the ball wide and score again, this time converted - 0-12.
It got worse and Eds were adrift at 19-0 down from yet another swift move that finished under the posts.
Eds were looking ragged and skipper Phil King was forced off after a nasty collision to be replaced by John Graham.
Barkers lost their No.4 for 10 minutes for a maul infringement and then Eds were similarly depleted when back-row man Tom Smith earned the referee's displeasure in a scuffle near the home posts.
Barkers kicked the penalty and took the half-time breather with a 22-0 advantage.
Eds resumed with some more poor passing and mishandling as Hatch tried to instill some passion into his side.
After 20 minutes of not much from either side Barkers got possession deep inside their own half and the familiar pattern of pace and passing brought another unconverted try - 27-0 and cruising.
Ten minutes before the whistle Eds backs strung together a movevent down the right and winger Rob Galloway acrobatically plunged over for an unconverted try.
Too little, much, much too late.